Lisa Schwarzbaum
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For 1,909 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 71% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 27% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 9.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Lisa Schwarzbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 The Incredibles
Lowest review score: 0 Patch Adams
Score distribution:
1,909 movie reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A graceful, unsentimental, well-made movie.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Don't tell Walt Disney, but Hayao Miyazaki really holds the keys to the magic kingdom.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The nervy style of this newfangled Western, with its eerie, insinuating score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, is so effective that long after Pitt and Affleck have left the screen, emotional disturbance lingers like gun smoke.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Damien Chazelle's extraordinary black-and-white retro dream of a feature debut.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Without ever dipping into indignity among wet, half-naked men, Shower sparkles with joy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Beautiful, compassionate, articulate domestic drama.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Filmmaker Yung Chang finds a sad and beautiful way to glimpse the big picture of dislocation through an exquisitely poised small study.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's an intoxicating feeling when a movie excites and enlivens us like this -- and there's a particular giddiness to be had in thinking about what movies can (but don't often) do for one's soul after imbibing such a fine vintage.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This beautiful, terrible story is not easily forgotten.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Soaring and romantic, wild and serene, feminist and gutsy, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one of the best movies of the year.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Unfolds with a simplicity that's as breathtaking as its inevitability is harrowing.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Flight opens with one of the most harrowing in-flight-disaster depictions of all time.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    So superb, so graceful, so strong -- another beauty in this year of good documentaries -- that I do believe it will influence career choices, sending inspired viewers to study pedagogy, or cinematography.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Yet another outstanding little movie in the exciting Romanian New Wave.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's a great, IQ-flattering entertainment both wonderful and wise.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The third starring the totally captivating cool cucumber Daniel Craig as Agent 007 - is both an elegy and a mission statement. It's also a great, long-lasting jolt of pleasure.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Pay attention to the enhanced detail audible in a new six-track sound mix, which may be the most important cleaning job of all; silence and Jerry Goldsmith's score have never twined so hauntingly.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The ensemble cast shared the best-actor award at the 2006 Cannes film festival -- and rightly so.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Gets weirder and meaner and darker and sadder as it progresses, which is amazing since it simultaneously remains funny and horrifying right up to the end.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is enchanting.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Another must-see marvel of horror, comedy, and impeccable filmmaking by the Korean director Bong Joon-ho.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is essential viewing for understanding our world.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The filmmaking is as strong as the subject matter, with an elegant structure.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The stunning, must-see drama Crash is proof that words have not lost the ability to shock in our anesthetized society.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result is an intense, action-driven war pic, a muscular, efficient standout that simultaneously conveys the feeling of combat from within as well as what it looks like on the ground.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The antidote to every square tough-guy caper you've ever seen, and the inspiration for many great ones. It is an existential imperative to seek out a showing and burn rubber to get there, preferably in an excellent car.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's thrillingly original, lyrical, and wise, and the filmmaker conveys the mutable intensity of young love with the authoritative originality of an important filmmaker.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The Savages is terrific -- a movie of uncommon appreciation for the nature and nurture that go into making us who we are, a perfectly calibrated drama both compassionate and unsentimental.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Up
    A lovely, thoughtful, and yes, uplifting adventure.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Miller's theme is innocence, the loss of it, and the reclamation of equanimity in the face of that loss, and the music she makes is haunting.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The uncoagulated anguish of parents mourning the death of a child has rarely been more powerfully depicted than in the collected vignettes of grief, rage, and retribution that make up the riveting domestic drama In the Bedroom.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An exhilarating puzzle, one of the grand cinematic eruptions of the year.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The wry filmmaker has created an urbane society of family and friends as ridiculously pretentious and hypocritical as they are cultured, accomplished, and posh.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The calm poetry of the cinematography offsets the mess of the politics to stunning effect.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    With In Between Days, the filmmaker captures feminine melancholy with rare precision. Find this movie.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Vibrantly, intricately alive on its own terms. This is what magic the movies can conjure with an inspired fellowship in charge, and unlimited pots of gold.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In a class by itself.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Loosely based on real events, this harrowing, superbly made drama by fast-rising filmmaker Gerardo Naranjo (I'm Gonna Explode) is Mexico's 2012 submission for Best Foreign Language Film - rightfully so.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A witty, stylish, beautifully made charmer of a family picture.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    An amazing thing -- a work of cinematic art in which form and structure pursues the logic-defying (parallel) subjects of dreaming and moviegoing.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    One of the year's most original and emotionally profound movies masquerades as the tiny story of a young couple who take a backpacking trip in the Caucasus Mountains the summer before their wedding.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It took writer-director Samuel ''Shmulik'' Maoz nearly 30 years to make this disturbing, visceral, personal film.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    (Denis's) visual style is hypnotic, rapturous, and she makes barren landscapes look gorgeous, hard men look vulnerable.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's raunchy, outspoken -- and also a smart and agile dissection of art, fame, and the chutzpah of big-budget productions.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A riveting and unexpectedly inspiring essay on the peace that comes from shared physical and mental concentration.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Miller hit documentary gold when he met Levitch. But this marvelously structured, sensitively edited, deep and compassionate portrait (in atmospheric, made-for-Manhattan black and white) of one man hopscotching a fine line between verbal genius and psychological miswiring is Miller's own jewel, the work of a gifted filmmaker.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's no denying that when it comes to communicating a certain delirious romanticism of character shaped by thousands of hours spent sitting in the dark, the artist who made this showpiece is a master.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A highly original Death in Venice-scented comedy drama written and directed with flair by British feature novice Richard Kwietniowski.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The superb screenplay won an award at Cannes this year for good reason.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The conclusion of Peter Jackson's masterwork is passionate and literate, detailed and expansive, and it's conceived with a risk-taking flair for old-fashioned movie magic at its most precious.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Brims with life and loveliness even as it meditates on the loss of childhood.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Dazzlingly beautiful, funny, and meaningful.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    But it is the steady accretion of hundreds of small moments in this elegant, high-spirited, intensely satisfying production -- the director's third American movie, but the first to approach the dazzle of his Hong Kong stuff -- that, toted up, makes everything right about this des- perately welcome thriller.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Waltz With Bashir has transcended the definitions of ''cartoon'' or ''war documentary'' to be classified as its own brilliant invention.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The movie is a rare uncensored postcard from a ruined place, a document at once depressing and hideously beautiful that sketches the real hardships of trampled people -- specifically women -- with authority and compelling simplicity.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Almereyda excises big chunks of plot to shape his vision, but retains Shakespeare's language and pays such rigorous attention to meaning and subtext that what's missing isn't missed.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jaoui neatly, gently, firmly slips political commentary into Let It Rain's articulate mayhem.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    More than a million people have been displaced in central China in the cause of generating electrical power to meet the needs of the future; Jia's flowing river of a picture washes over a few of them as they adjust to life's currents in the present.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    A marvel of warm collaboration and shared jokes about husbands and wives, shot both in dreamscape color and pristine black and white.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What matters is that Tiana triumphs as both a girl and a frog, that dreams are fulfilled, wrongs are righted, love prevails, and music unites not only a princess and a frog but also kids and grown-ups.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    One of the wonders of the holiday season.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's an adult life force in every frame of this luxuriously paced work, even in the sight of rain and a lady's stocking.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Loving, Playful, and spectacularly well made, Super 8 is easily the best summer movie of the year - of many years.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    ''Documentary'' is too impersonal a word and ''visual poem'' is too mushy a phrase to describe Of Time and the City, a short, beautiful, characteristically sublime memory piece by the great British auteur Terence Davies.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    There's piercing sadness, and fury, too, in this Everyman's isolation, and Cantet is singularly skilled at evoking the universal condition of such tragic ordinariness.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Footnote is itself a perfect little piece of Talmud, full of text, commentary, and colorful argument.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It's also one of the great movies of the year - an ambitious, challenging, and creatively hot-blooded but cool toned project that picks seriously at knotty ideas about American personality, success, rootlessness, master-disciple dynamics, and father-son mutually assured destruction.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Almodóvar's masterwork, is a spectacular synthesis of everything that has always interested him -- proud women, lovely boys, beautiful drag queens, grand movie stars, gorgeous frocks, wild wallpaper .
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Stunning, unsettling, beautifully written drama.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    If you see only one comic love story from Kazakhstan this year, choose this prize-winning honey.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This stunning movie -- one of the very best of the year -- makes a much read American classic feel new and freshly devastating.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The very opposite of a storybook romance, and also the very model of a great comedy for our values-driven time.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    You could trawl the seven seas and not net a funnier, more beautiful, and more original work of art and comedy than Finding Nemo.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Bestows generous blessings on all that's good in Englishness, in moviedom, and, of course, in cheese.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    No one charts the wilds of childhood more precisely than the Dardennes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Beautifully led by birdlike Sylvie Testud as an ailing young woman in a wheelchair, every character (pilgrim and helper alike) exhibits a soul. And shaped with confident talent by the Austrian filmmaker, every serenely composed shot matters.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Stunning and compassionate period drama.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Hersonski quietly and insistently unravels reality from "reality"; her commitment to archival authenticity is its own tribute to those no longer able to testify.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Like everything else in this superb work of art, ''Shrinking Lover'' is exquisitely Almodóvarian. It's funny, tender, a little shocking, and it pays homage to what we know about movies: that they can move us beyond words.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This is one of the year's best. To paraphrase the Wild Thing named KW, I could eat it up, I love it so.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    It took director-producer Leon Gast 22 years to edit and finance When We Were Kings, his thrilling documentary about the legendary 1974 heavyweight-championship fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire. But the lag time has only deepened the impact of this thrilling documentary: All sad thoughts of Ali as a wounded warrior fall away in the glow of seeing the champ at his best.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The power of this great movie -- part comedy, part tragedy, part satire, mostly masterpiece -- is in the details.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    In this typically exquisite, nuanced, memory-infused work from master British filmmaker Terence Davies, we believe every minute of the torment of Hester (Rachel Weisz).
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Facing a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, the older woman enrolls in a poetry class, desperate to find the words to describe beauty before language fails her. She does even better: She herself becomes a kind of poem about what it means to really see the world.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Circles the heart of noisy, modern Tehran with an informal, documentary-like freedom that is thrilling in its naturalism.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    This enveloping dream of an epic narrative experiment comes from the great Chilean-born, France-based filmmaker Raúl Ruiz (Time Regained).
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Mr. Lazarescu is that rich and riveting a film of universal small human moments and big-system failure.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The result: This great work of art has the potential to change the world.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The gorgeous music includes Ralph Vaughan Williams' wafting tone poem ''The Lark Ascending'' -- apt in describing an artist who might well be part bird.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Achieves its exquisite tension--deepening beautifully from a "Death in Venice" setup to an imaginative meditation, on art and life, of uncommon sensitivity.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Stunning, fully formed masterpiece.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The film, by seasoned cinematographer Dror Moreh, is a feat — of access and of passionate and appropriately unsettling political commentary.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    These 173 minutes don't drag, they waltz.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Definition eludes the delicate pleasures of this marvelous, idiosyncratic movie collage.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Yagira's performance is so extraordinary, it won him the best actor prize at the 2004 Cannes film festival.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The picture moves with stealth, enjoying its own thriller-ness as hints are laid and mislaid. There's a sense that Hitchcock is hovering in the background and cheering for Auteuil, who musters all his French superstardom to play a man having his mask of blandness torn off.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    The setting is somewhere between a post-WWII Brigadoon and the environs of Marcel Carn classic "Children of Paradise," but the story is as timely as this morning's news from Europe.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    What's astonishing about Sofia Coppola's enthralling new movie is the precision, maturity, and originality with which the confident young writer-director communicates so clearly in a cinematic language all her own.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jennifer Baichwal's gorgeous documentary Manufactured Landscapes amplifies the powerful work of Edward Burtynsky, a Canadian artist who specializes in large-scale photographs of terrain transformed by civilization into rivers and tides of industrial ugliness.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Trier's compassion for what it takes to survive, mixed with the love he bestows on Oslo, is rewardingly profound.

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